Fossil Fools' Day

Fossil Fools Day
Emma Heyde with Mr. Coal-Head at Hornsby Station

Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Greens
1 April 2016

On "Fossil Fools' Day" (April Fools' Day), Greens members and supporters joined Emma Heyde, Greens candidate for Berowra, at Hornsby, Pennant Hills, and then Philip Ruddock's office to deliver an open letter caling on the member for Berowra and his government to stop subsidising fossil fuels, increase the funding for renewable energy, and to protect the livelihoods of former coal miners. The delegation then went on to Epping and delivered a similar letter to John Alexander's Office.

Call for Hornsby Council to declare refugees welcome

Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Greens
16 March 2016

Ahead of the "Refugees Welcome" Palm Sunday Rally, Emma Heyde, Greens candidate for Berowra, calls on Hornsby Council to support people fleeing conflict, danger and persecution.

Emma's letter to the editor
Our neighbourhoods with their world-class hospitals such as Westmead and its neonatal unit can feel a long way from the danger that forces many people to live as refugees. This weekend, Palm Sunday is a chance to say 'welcome' to people seeking safety here. Refugees make up around 4% of overall immigration and with humanitarian protection visas, it's still only 8 to 10% of immigrants. Ryde is a Refugee Welcome Zone. Let's see Hornsby Council declare refugees welcome too.
Emma Heyde 
Greens candidate for Berowra

Community keeps Byles Creek Valley safe ... for now

community members in silent solidarity for Byles Creek Valley
Community members in silent solidarity for Byles Creek Valley
Photo: Michael Bianchino

Marie Byles was the state's first female solicitor. She was also a highly effective advocate for women's rights and for the environment. 

Marie lived in Cheltenham, and on her death, left her 1.4 hectares of land to the National Trust. 'Ahimsa' adjoins the Lane Cove National Park. Visit via Day Road. 
Byles Creek runs through Cheltenham and Beecroft and is home to the last Gang Gang cockatoos in Sydney, and a very established breeding group of endangered Powerful Owls.

World Wildlife Day Protest at Baird's Office

World Wildlife Day Protest at Baird's Office
Huge Crowd outsiside the electorate office of the NSW Premier Mike Baird protesting the scrapping of the Native Vegetation Act

Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Greens
5 March 2016

More than 150 people gathered outside the Premier's electoral office in Manly on World Wildlife Day (March 3) protesting at the scrapping the "Native Vegetation Act" and its watered-down, Orwellian-named "Biodiversity Conservation Act" "replacement".
Our Greens candidate for Berowra, Emma Heyde, was there with supporters from the Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Area - not least two very large bird species. Greens spokesperson for the Environment, Mehreen Faruqi was also present the protest.

Greens join community opposition to amalgamations

The Greens representatives at Paul Fletcher's Office
Candidates Adrian Jones (Bradfield), Emma Heyde (Berowra) and David Angus (Rosevile Ward of KMC)

The Greens’ candidate for Bradfield, Adrian Jones, and the Greens' candidate for Berowra, Emma Heyde, have joined calls from local residents and community groups for the federal minister for Local Government, Paul Fletcher, to take action against the forced amalgamation of Hornsby Shire Council with Ku-ring-gai Municipal Council.

Community Meeting at Paul Fletcher's Office

An Alliance of community, environmental and business groups working with the Greens, Labor, Christian Democrats, Independents and Save Our Councils NSW, will deliver a letter to Paul Fletcher's office in Lindfield demanding urgent action to listen to the community and stop Baird's forced amalgamations.
We will be standing behind Save our Council Corflutes - but home-made placards are good too.

You can express your intention to attend by visiting this facebook event:

Register here (on this website)

Forced amalgamations: biased, flawed and rigged.

Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Greens
15 Feb 2016

Community says no to amalgamation
Community says NO to amalgamation

Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Greens is highly critical of Hornsby Council's response to the Baird government's forced amalgamation of Hornsby and Ku-ring-gai councils. Speaking at the council meeting on Wednesday night, Greens local group convenor, David Sentinella, said that the council had failed to adequately inform residents of their right to comment on the changes to the council boundaries and consequences of their reduced representation. Mr. Sentinella said, “Other councils had prominently advertised the Boundaries Review Inquiry hearings on their websites and in council newsletters sent to residents, but remarkably, not a single public inquiry took place in the entire Hornsby Shire Council local government area.”
“Hornsby Council should have requested that these hearings take place, and had the right to make representations to the delegate. To have no hearings in a council area that covers 510 square kilometres is to deny residents of their democratic rights.”, Mr Sentinella said.

The Greens have long held that the NSW Liberal government forced amalgamations have more to do with cosy relationships with big developers than cost savings or better services for residents. The Baird government claims that amalgamations will save $2 billion over 20 years, however the analysis on which these claims are made has never been released in full. Mr. Sentinella said, “It is outrageous to have the Boundaries Commission go through a sham public inquiry process when participants have been given biased and incomplete information.”

Greens Acknowledge Ruddock's Retirement from Parliament and Ready to Contest Berowra

Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Greens
8 February 2016 (Updated 2 March 2016 )

Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Greens acknowledge Philip Ruddock for his contributions to public life on his retirement from Parliament and wish him well in his new role as Australia's first special envoy for human rights. We trust that Mr. Ruddock will fulfill the role impartially and with compassion. We respect and applaud his stance on the death penalty. 

Philip Ruddock
Philip Ruddock

The Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Greens have selected their candidate for Berowra, Emma Heyde. The Greens welcome the opportunity to provide the electorate with a candidate up to the task of representing the needs of Berowra and of all Australia.

We recognise, and agree with, Ruddock's stand on the death penalty and we also recognise his early stance on Amnesty and his act of defiance against the Howard government. We also congratulate him for crossing the floor of parliament to vote with Labor to ensure that immigration policy did not discriminate on the basis of race.

We utterly condemn much of his subsequent immigration policy, and especially condemn the denial of legal rights to asylum seekers that was part of the dreadful "Pacific Solution". His role in the "children overboard" affair was deplorable.
We also condemn his part in the blockage of same-sex marriages and civil unions.

We saw in Ruddock a spark of defiance in his early years and we hope that, when no longer under the control of the Liberal Party machine, he uses his new position to take a more compassionate stance on immigaration, refugees and human rights.

The Fight to Keep Local Councils Truly Local

The Coalition has announced its proposal to force council amalgamations across NSW

Hornsby Shire and Ku-ring-gai councils were both found by IPART to be financially strong and sustainable as stand-alone councils, but failed the government’s arbitrary and ill-defined criteria of “scale and capacity.”

Hornsby and Kuringgai Council areas

Proposed amalgamation of Hornsby Shire and Ku-ring-gai councils

Hornsby Shire and Ku-ring-gai councils were both found by IPART to be financially strong and sustainable as stand-alone councils, but failed the government’s arbitrary and ill-defined criteria of “scale and capacity.”

The government claims a forced amalgamation would see a total financial benefit of $90 million over a 20 year period. This includes a $20 million grant from the NSW government, which artificially inflates the so-called benefit and is paid for by the taxpayer. The alleged ‘saving’ component over 20 years is $70 million and would mainly be achieved through job cuts to council staff.

The government has chosen to release only selected extracts and a high level summary from the study undertaken by its consultants, KPMG to support these alleged savings. It is impossible for the community to make a full submission on the government's financial case for amalgamation without having access to the complete study for each and every council. What is apparent from the publicly information about the KPMG study is that it:

+ inflates any potential savings from future contracting arrangements in amalgamated councils, especially given the councils already enter into many contracts through Regional Organisation of Council contract tenders when there are identifiable economies of scale from doing so

+ assumes large staff losses in the merged council that will inevitably impact on local services an the local economy

+ grossly underestimates the likely costs to councils from renewing each council's IT infrastructure following the merger

+ fails to consider the very real costs the council and local community will incur with a less responsive and larger council that has less intimate knowledge of local needs

+ ignores the large loss of council staff time and resources in implementing an unwelcome and often unsupported amalgamated council, and

+ has no regard to the informed academic opinions based on detailed empirical studies of past council mergers that proves forced amalgamations typically fail to generate financial sustainability for local councils.

The proposed merger would increase the ratio of residents to elected councillors to 19,306 residents per councillors, up from 12,098 in Hornsby and 16,861 in Ku-ring-gai.

Based on international comparisons there is not a good case for making any of these councils any larger. Sydney councils are on average almost four times larger than metropolitan councils across the developed world, with the average population of OECD metropolitan councils 27,224 and the average population of Sydney councils 104,493. 


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